Cellulitis (cont.)

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Can cellulitis be prevented?

Under some circumstances, cellulitis can be prevented by proper hygiene, treating chronic swelling of tissues (edema), care of wounds or cuts. In other cases, microscopic breaks in the skin may not be apparent and infection may develop. In general, cellulitis in a healthy person with an intact immune system is preventable by avoiding skin surface wounds. In people with predisposing conditions (see above) and/or weakened immune systems, cellulitis may not always be preventable.

What is the outlook/prognosis for cellulitis?

Cellulitis is a treatable condition, but antibiotic treatment is necessary to eradicate the infection and avoid spread of the infection. Most cellulitis can be effectively treated with oral antibiotics at home. Sometimes hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics are required if oral antibiotics are not effective. If not properly treated, cellulitis can occasionally spread to the bloodstream and cause a serious bacterial infection of the bloodstream that spreads throughout the body (sepsis).

Additional resources from WebMD Boots UK on Cellulitis


Humphrey, Isaac P. and Halsey, Eric S. "Cellulitis." eMedicine.com. Sept. 23, 2009 <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/214222-overview>.

McNamara, D.R., I.M. Tleyjeh, E.F. Berbari, B.D. Lahr, J.W. Martinez, S.A. Mirzoyev, and L.M. Baddour. "Incidence of Lower-Extremity Cellulitis: A Population-Based Study in Olmsted County, Minnesota." Mayo Clin Proc. 82.7 July 2007: 817-821.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/30/2013

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